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President Directs Equal Tax Benefits for Manual Filers

President Directs Equal Tax Benefits for Manual Filers

The president has mandated that manual filers of income tax returns should receive the same tax benefits as those filing electronically, warning the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) against maladministration and highlighting the authority of the federal tax ombudsman under the FTO Ordinance, 2000.


This decision follows the rejection of an appeal by the FBR against an order of the federal tax ombudsman (FTO), with the president emphasizing the obligation of statutory bodies to operate within the bounds of the law.

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The initiative was prompted by Lahore-based tax lawyer Waheed Shahzad Butt, who highlighted the discrimination faced by manual filers before the FBR and FTO. Through consultations between FTO officials and FBR executives, the issue was resolved without resorting to costly litigation.

The FTO has mandated the FBR to implement specific mechanisms and establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure the activation of all manual filers’ income tax returns for the latest tax year, in line with the Active Taxpayers List (ATL) issued by the FBR.

Manual filers of tax returns have faced unlawful discrimination compared to electronically filed returns, with the FBR deeming manually filed income tax returns as “inactive” despite being filed within the specified time by law, in violation of Rule 73 of the Income Tax Rules 2002.

The president’s order underscores the need for the FBR to rectify these shortcomings and ensure fair and equitable taxation for all citizens. The FTO’s recommendations to adopt mechanisms and SOPs to activate all filers of returns for the latest tax year are deemed essential and must be implemented by the FBR.